No more free swimming or skating at Jones Center

Posted: March 29, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.

Changes are under way at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale to help sustain the center for decades to come.

Starting Sunday, patrons of the Harvey and Bernice Jones Center for Families must pay for swimming and ice skating every day.

The activities had been free only on Sundays since the center began charging for the once-free activities in 2008

Jones Center officials announced changes to fees in a Thursday news release.

The center operates on a budget of $3.25 million, and a significant portion of the budget goes toward utility and facility maintenance costs, according to the news release. The primary utility costs are heating the competitive pool and splash pool and cooling the ice arena.

The center introduced fees for swimming and ice skating during the week in 2008 after not charging any fees for the first 13 years of operation, according to the release.

In the news release, Dennis Smiley, member of the board of directors for the Jones Trust, states, “Our goal is to stabilize the center’s finances so that the center will last into perpetuity and continue to provide its vital and important services far into the future. Based on the current economic conditions, the endowment of the Jones Trust can provide approximately one-third of the Jones Center’s $3.25 million operational budget. There is a significant need for additional revenue.”